On November 18, Council President Lynn Griesemer (District 2) announced that she has added two additional meetings of the Town Council on November 29 at 6:30 and December 13 at 7:30. She stated that she has received affirmation that the council would be able to achieve a quorum on those dates, though some councilors have indicated that they will not be able to attend these extra sessions.
The addition of these two meetings means that the Council will have met for seven Mondays in a row, from November 8 until December 20. The extra meetings will allow the council to vote on several zoning amendments that have been discussed over the past year, prior to the installation of the newly elected council.
A reconsideration of the referral to the Community Resources Committee (CRC) of the proposed bylaw for a temporary moratorium on new large-scale solar projects will be discussed on November 22.
Four other bylaws will receive a first reading on November 29 and a vote on December 6. These include a one-year extension of temporary zoning due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Article 14), revisions to the mixed-use building bylaw (Article 3, Section 3.325), revisions to the parking and access requirements (Article 7), and rezoning of parcel 33 behind CVS to create a parking garage overlay. The two sponsors of the parking garage proposal, Councilors George Ryan (District 3) and Evan Ross (District 4) both lost their bids for reelection, though Ross has requested a recount in his close defeat.
The council will receive recommendations from the Town Services and Outreach (TSO) Committee regarding funding the Department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and the Community Responders for Equity, Safety, and Service (CRESS) program on December 13, after TSO holds a public forum on December 9. The vote on the two programs is slated for December 20.
Other topics to be discussed at the remaining meetings of this term are lunch carts and parking fee enforcement (November 22 and December 6), reports on the design of the Pomeroy Center intersection and parking on Kendrick Place (November 29), the proposed performance shell on the South Common (December 6), and parking and traffic changes near Kendrick Park (December 13).
The following items were removed from consideration by the council in this term:
- Crosswalks in North Amherst (at intersection of North Residential Drive, Crestview Apartments, Northern Driveway to Puffton Village, and Fisher Street, and remove crosswalk at Fairfield.
- Flood Maps
- Demolition Delay Bylaw proposed revisions
- North Common update, timeline, and the budget
- Parking Fees
- Associate Members of the ZBA Vacancies
- North Pleasant Street crosswalk (Change in MA DOT Shared Street Grant work plan) (New Crosswalk near Garcia’s and Kendrick Park
Griesemer indicated that meeting plans may change if more councilors indicate that they cannot attend the added sessions and achieving a quorum may not be possible.